If you make a video but no one watches it, did you really produce anything? Obviously, you did; you have the invoices to prove it and there are many eyewitnesses to the production process.
So, perhaps the better question is if you produce a video that nobody watches, is it worth it? The answer here is less clear because that may be an issue that’s easy to fix.
Promotion is the sixth phase of practicing video. It’s where you put your content in front of your intended audience. This makes executing an effective B2B video promotion plan especially important, as it’s when you’ll begin to see your ROI climb.
A Quick Recap: Promotion vs. Distribution
Before we launch into the wild world of promoting your B2B video content, we need to take a step back and talk about the difference between promotion and distribution.
These two phases of practicing video are often mistaken for each other. However, there’s a clear difference: distribution is putting your video content out there to be found while promotion is pushing your content to a targeted audience. Uploading a video to YouTube for anyone to find among organic search results is distribution. Uploading that same video to be used as a preroll ad when a defined audience tries to watch a YouTube video is promotion.
Some people try to differentiate distribution and promotion by payment. Distribution is free, they say, and promotion is paid, they’ll also say. What they should be saying is it often costs money to distribute videos – server space isn’t free, people – and there are plenty of ways to promote video for free, such as segmented email lists or social media hashtags.
Research Your Audience
If promotion is pushing B2B video content at a targeted audience, then it helps to know a bit about who you’re targeting. You should already have some information on your potential customers, but digging a bit deeper can allow you to promote your videos with pinpoint accuracy. For instance, you’ll need to be able to answer the following questions about your intended audience:
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What are their interests?
- What social media platforms do they use and when do they use them?
- What is their intent when they browse social media or visit various websites?
- What questions or issues are you trying to help them with?
You don’t want to market something on TikTok if you’re trying to push your videos to stoic, older business professionals. If your audience is international, you want to make sure you promote your videos based on the time zone where they live. Conversely, if your audience is local, you don’t want to have your video promoted to someone living on the other side of the country.
An archer knows exactly where their target is before they release their arrow. If they don’t, they could end up missing their target so wildly that they’re shunned from the quiver community. The same is true with B2B video marketing; if you don’t know exactly who your audience is, you may end up never having a shot with them.
Choose and Understand Your Channels
You should decide what channels you’re using for your video content when you craft your video strategy. The platform you choose will impact all aspects of production as well as distribution – for instance, a video that’s destined to be promoted on Instagram should be shot in the platform’s typical 4:3 framing.
It’s not enough, though, to merely upload your video content. You have to maximize each channel’s unique quirks and features to your benefit. Social media platforms, for instance, collect a wide variety of data about their users. This allows you to promote your videos to your targeted audience with almost frightening accuracy. If you only want your videos pushed to users between the ages of 35 and 50 with a college degree who live in Santa Fe, work in tech, and spend every Christmas devouring David Balducci’s latest novel, you can do it.
You should also think about call-to-actions as they’ll vary with each channel. It’s commonplace for a YouTube preroll ad to ask you to click a link for more information. Asking your audience to do the same thing on an over-the-air TV ad will leave your targeted audience with smudged TVs and little idea how you can help them.
Additionally, some online channels allow your promoted content to be skipped by the viewer after a short wait, often as little as five seconds. From a brand recognition standpoint, you’ll want to take advantage of those five seconds by front-loading the video with branded content even if the video itself is 30 seconds long.
Maximize Your Bids
While there are free avenues of targeting your video at your intended audience, a lot of B2B marketing campaigns will end up doing a fair bit of paid promotion. In those situations, you’ll be engaged in a bidding process, and those that are willing to pay the most per view will get their videos played.
Again, this is where your audience research comes in. You can use your bids effectively by bidding on highly specific search terms. If you know exactly what your targets search for, you can bid on long-tail keywords that only your intended audience searches for. There is often less competition to promote content based on these keywords, so you’ll get maximum bang for your buck.
At the same time, you should be wary if you’re choosing to focus on popular keywords or demographic types yet there doesn’t seem much bid competition. You may find yourself in a situation such as promoting your content on LinkedIn on the weekends when usage plummets.
Learn More About Video Promotion Plans
Promoting your B2B video content takes strategy, research, and a deep understanding of the channels you intend to use. When you promote effectively, you’re giving your video the best shot of it being seen by the people you want to see it.
For more on how to execute a promotion plan for your B2B video, listen to episode 13 of The Video Reformation podcast.